IT Lead for the Danish System of Scientific Collections (DaSSCo)

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 05 Mar 2023

The Natural History Museum of Denmark (NHMD), Faculty of SCIENCE, University of Copenhagen is leading a project to digitize Danish natural history collections and is looking for a fixed-term full-time IT Lead. The position is available from 1st April 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter and will run for 2 years, with the possibility of extension.

About us

The Natural History Museum of Denmark is the national museum for nature, and contains more than 14 million objects of preserved animals, plants, fossils and minerals. Natural history museums have never been more important for monitoring the impact of climate change and the direct human threat to plant and animal life.

DaSSCo (Danish System of Scientific Collections) is a five-year project financed by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The Natural History Museum of Denmark is leading the project that also involves a series of other Danish institutions; the Herbarium (the Science Museums, Aarhus University), the Natural History Museum in Aarhus and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The aim of DaSSCo is to digitise the approximately 19 million natural history objects stored at the combined collections. Through digitisation of our collections, we will make information presently only accessible on site in natural history collections available to everyone around the world: for researchers, educators, conservation programmes, nature management, businesses, the general public, and many others. Given the size of the collections, the task cannot be finished in five years and the project is expected to run for longer. The data produced by DaSSCo will be integrated in the Pan-European DiSSCo initiative (https://www.dissco.eu/ ) of which the Natural History Museum of Denmark is a founding member. DiSSCo involves 120 institutions in 21 countries, ultimately giving the public access to 1,500,000,000 records.

The Natural History Museum of Denmark offers a friendly and thriving international research and work environment. Copenhagen is one of the top-ten livable cities in the world, famous for its cultural life, green spaces, food, and sustainable ambitions (https://www.visitcopenhagen.com ).

Main tasks and responsibilities

This post will primarily be concerned with developing, deploying and managing the IT infrastructure for our digitization programme. It will involve:

  • Understanding the core requirements for DaSSCo and make informed recommendations about how to manage and implement the work within the required timeframe
  • Understanding how the IT infrastructure of DaSSCo relates to that of its individual member institutions as well as national and international stakeholders (such as DiSSCo and GBIF)
  • Keeping up to date with developments and trends in the sector, potentially also sitting on external committees
  • Leading on the development and management of the IT infrastructure (such as configuration of servers, implementation of data pipelines, development of apps, integration with existing software, external publishing of data, assignment of persistent identifiers etc) including leading agile software development using Github and managing the day-to-day work of short-term programmers
  • Fully documenting all processes and decisions
  • Communicating progress and issues effectively to technical and non-technical staff

This is a new post on a new project and as such the duties may evolve over the period of employment.

The postholder will work closely with the DaSSCo Project Leader, Head of Digital Collections, Collections Management Database (Specify) Administrators, Data Manager, Data Curators, Curators and Collections Management staff, project partners from other institutions and international colleagues.

Qualifications, skills and experience

  • Degree in computer science, software engineering or similar
  • Experience designing, building or working with large data architectures
  • Be a proficient Linux user
  • Advanced knowledge of different relational database systems and storage technologies
  • Experience with ETL processes is preferable
  • Experience in systems development and software design ideally in the Python programming language and including testing and documentation
  • Experience working with APIs
  • Knowledge of, and ideally experience working with, distributed systems for storage and computing
  • Experience working with, configuring and managing servers, preferably with experience in administration of servers
  • Ability to lead teams of developers and take ownership of work packages
  • Experience of working in a project environment, particularly using Agile development and an ability to deliver results on time
  • Excellent communication skills and an ability to work effectively with technical and non-technical staff
  • Willingness to gain relevant sector-specific knowledge of museum digitisation priorities and data standards such as DarwinCore
  • Strong analytic and problem-solving skills
  • Can work independently as well as in teams
  • Full working proficiency in written and spoken English

Terms of salary and employment

The employment and salary are made in accordance with the Circular on the Collective Agreement concerning academics in the state sector concluded between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations).

Employment will be as Special Advisor/Consultant or as an Academic Employee depending on the experience and qualification of the candidate. The salary is based on seniority. Negotiation for salary supplement is possible. The working time is 37 hours per week on average. The working hours are flexible.

Your application

If you find the job interesting, please send an electronic application with attachment via Jobportalen (click on the link "Apply Now" at the bottom of the post) no later than 5 March 2023.

Interviews will commence from end of February 2023.

The University of Copenhagen seeks to reflect society and encourages applications irrespective of personal background.

Further questions

Any questions about the position may be directed to Pip Brewer (pip.brewer@snm.ku.dk ) or Kim Steenstrup Pedersen (kimstp@snm.ku.dk).

The Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen – or SCIENCE – is Denmark's largest science research and education institution with 4,000 employees and 9,700 Bachelor and Master's students in 12 departments. The Faculty has an annual budget of DKK 3 billion.

Learn more about The Faculty of Science at www.science.ku.dk


Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


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